Counselling for students affected by toxic fumes

JOHOR BARU: The state government through the Welfare Department (JKM) will conduct counselling in schools where students were affected by the toxic fumes caused by chemical dumping at Sungai Kim Kim.

State Women Development and Tourism Committee chairman Liow Cai Tung said that JKM would cooperate with the Education Ministry in this effort.

“I believe that counselling should be given to students who are affected especially those in primary schools who may have been traumatised after the incident, received medical treatment or hospitalised.

“I hope that these counselling sessions can assist them in the recovery process as well as to overcome their trauma,” she said.

Several hundred students were affected by the toxic fumes, with many hospitalised. All 111 schools in Pasir Gudang were ordered closed following the incident, and will only reopen after the mid-term break which starts next week.

Liow added that counselling team from JKM was made up of 15 psychologist and counselling officers while the Psychological Support Team consists of 20 people.

“I was also informed that JKM counselling teams in other states are also available to assist us if necessary,” she said.

She added that agencies under the portfolio such as the National Population and Family Development Board and the Darul Takzim Family Development Foundation also have adequate counselling teams that can assist in this development.

In another matter, the state government through JKM, councillors and volunteers of the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council (MPPG), have distributed masks and foodstuffs to residents affected by the Sungai Kim Kim crisis.

Over 350 food wraps and face masks have been distributed in residential and shophouses in Kampung Bukit Pulai, Taman Scientex and Taman Scientex 2 over the past few days.

“Aside from those who received medical treatment at the MPPG Indoor Stadium, I also feel that residents in the area should not be neglected.

“It is important for residents to get a face mask as a precautionary measure,” Liow said.

Meanwhile, Mah Sing Foundation has provided 5,000 pieces of R95 masks to the local community in Pasir Gudang who have been affected by the incident.

A donation of RM20,000 to Mercy Malaysia enabled them to source the masks from Kuala Lumpur as they were in short supply in the southern region. The R95 masks are able to filter out oil particles from the air.

The 5,000 pieces of R95 masks were distributed from Mercy Malaysia’s temporary base at the MPPG Indoor Stadium.

“We are very concerned about the community in Pasir Gudang especially school children affected by the toxic fumes. I think this is an unprecedented catastrophe.

“Besides working with Mercy Malaysia, Mah Sing’s Ramada Meridin hotel is also sponsoring food for Pasir Gudang’s First Responders via the MealsOnUs project organised by Malaysian Association of Hotels.

“We shall be distributing packed food and drinks for 150 first responders on Thursday,” said Mah Sing Foundation chairman Datuk Syed Norulzaman Syed Kamarulzaman in a press statement.

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